Recommended Local Beer and Wine

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In need of a new Thanksgiving bevvie? We’ve got a list of fantastic local drinks for you to check out.

Citizen Cider

Most of us in the Burlington area have heard of Citizen, but in case you haven’t tried it yet we’re giving you a reason to. If you’re a hard cider lover like me, you may find yourself unable to finish your drink because of its excessively sugary taste. Citizen Ciders break that mold. With four different flavors and no added sugar, you’ll be sure to find one you love. These dry hard ciders are largely available throughout the New England area. The drinks come in packs of 4 16 oz. cans as well as a variety pack of 8 16 oz. cans, 2 of each flavor.

Unified Press (The Red Can, 5.2% ABV):

If you’re in the mood for a no frills cider, you’re sure to be satisfied with Unified Press. It’s Citizen’s standard “flagship” cider that everyone can enjoy.

The Dirty Mayor: The Blue Can, 5.2% ABV

Like ginger beer? It’s your lucky day. The Dirty Mayor is infused with ginger and lemon. The second I tried one I was hooked. I’ve never tasted anything like it. Its sweetness mixed with its gingery tang make it one of the most unique drinks around.

Wit's Up: The Yellow Can, 5.9% ABV

Brewed with Belgian Wheat Ale, Wit's Up is a great compromise for someone who can’t decide whether they want a cider or a beer. Witts Up is described by the brewery as “sessionable,” meaning that it is light enough to drink multiple in one sitting. This is by no means a suggestion, but if you’re feeling comfortable one more won’t hurt your stomach like most hard ciders do.

The Lake Hopper: The Green Can, 6.2% ABV

I think of this one as the lovechild of a beer and cider. Currently, the Lake Hopper is my favorite, weighing in just above the Dirty Mayor. Equally as unique, and easy on the stomach and the taste buds.

The Alchemist

I know you’ve heard of the Alchemist brewery. Whether you’ve heard Heady Topper and Focal Banger being thrown around in conversation and knew what it was or thought to yourself “what on Earth are they talking about?” These beers are brewed in Stowe and Waterbury, and are very hard to come by around Burlington. Most markets and liquor stores get their shipments in on Thursday, so if you need to make a last minute decision on T-Day, this is always a great choice.

Heady Topper: American Double IPA 8% ABV

This meal of a double IPA is not for the faint of heart. Though I’m not one for hoppy beers, and trust me it is quite hoppy, it’s my personal favorite IPA. It’s quite filling, and is on the higher end of the ABV spectrum, so many people max out after one. If you’re looking to bring a quality craft brew to a get together and are willing to share with friends, than a Heady is a great option.

Focal Banger: American IPA 7% ABV

Tried the Heady Topper and thought it was far too strong for you? It’s like the Alchemist knew and answered our prayers. Focal Banger is the newer of the two brews. I find this one far lighter and still as delicious.

Shelburne Vineyard

Shelburne Vineyard sells award-winning wines that are available throughout Vermont. The exciting part? I’ve just recently learned about their new canning operation. Yes, you read that right. The vineyard is now canning wine and selling 4 packs of Capsize!

Capsize: White (4 8.5 oz (250 mL) cans) 12.5% ABV

The wine is made of two grapes grown in the vineyard: Louise Swenson and LaCrescent. It works out to 1 liter per pack, which is the equivalent to 1 ⅓ bottles. From a cost standpoint, you’re spending less money on 4 cans than 1 bottle while getting ⅓ of a bottle more. Just that’s reason enough to try it! Furthermore, it's canned wine from an award-winning local vineyard.

Thank you for reading and learning from us. Stay tuned throughout the week to learn more of our tips to ace Thanksgiving. From Us to You at The Little Red Kitchen. 

Jackie Trudeau